Absurdism and Generation Z Humor: the Effects of Absurdist Content on Perceived Humor Levels in Generation Z Students
Keywords:memes, humor, Generation Z, Likert scal, survey, absurdism, social media, communication
This study investigated the relationship between absurd humor in meme stills and the perceived humor among Generation Z students. Students of a high school in Northeast Ohio were given one of two seemingly identical surveys, each with a selection of six memes and individual Likert scales corresponding to the presented memes. A rubric was created with guidelines for visual components that was used to assign the presented memes an absurdity score with categories of “minimal absurdism,” “semi-absurd,” and “absurd.” Participants (n=298) were asked to rank the memes on the Likert scale ranging from a value of 1—not at all funny to a maximum value of 5—extremely funny. Following a chi-squared test, we can be over 99% confident that there is a present relationship between absurdist humor content in meme stills and how humorous they are rated by Generation Z students. These findings can be applied to the usage of memes in marketing, an ever-increasing function of meme humor, to make advertisements and communication more effective.
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